Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
February 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


David Mills


Mills, David (1831-1903), minister of the interior (1876-8) and minister of justice for Canada (1897-1902), was born in the township of Oxford , Kent county, Upper Canada, on March 18, 1831, the son of Nathaniel Mills and Mary Guggerty. He was educated at the common schools and at the University of Michigan (LL.B., 1855). From 1856 to 1865 he was superintendent of schools for the county of Kent. In 1867 he was elected as a Reformer to the Canadian House of Commons for Bothwell; and he represented this constituency continuously until 1896. Having been defeated in the general elections of that year, he was appointed to the Senate, and he continued a member of the Senate until 1902. From 1876 to 1878 he was minister of the interior in the Mackenzie administration; and from 1897 to 1902 he was minister of justice in the Laurier government. In 1872 he was commissioned by the government of Ontario to report upon the boundaries of Ontario ; and he published a report embodying the results of his investigations (Toronto, 1873). From 1882 to 1887 he was chief editorial writer on the London Advertiser; and in 1883 he was called to the bar of Ontario (Q.C., 1890). He came to be regarded as an authority on constitutional law; and in 1888 was appointed to the chair of constitutional and international law in the University of Toronto. In 1902 he was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Canada; but he held this position for only one year. He died at Ottawa on May 8, 1903. In 1860 he married Mary J. Brown of Chatham , Ontario ; and by her he had three sons and four daughters. See F. Landon, David Mills (Willison's Monthly, 1929).

Source : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. IV, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 400p., p. 295.


© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College